Skip to main content

This might stir things up

Thank you all SO MUCH for your encouragement and empathy and wise words yesterday. I was on track and back to basics all day, and already feel better mentally and physically.

It's truly amazing how unclean eating affects not just my body but also my mind and emotions, particularly after an extended period of clean eating. This is all new for me. Counting calories or points or fat grams, as I have in the past, meant I could eat anything as long as it fit within the daily calorie or point or fat-gram parameters.

"Anything" included sugar-free or low-fat substitutes for real foods which had too many calories per serving to be satisfying. Think frozen desserts, processed meats, Snackwell cookies and anything that comes in a 100-calorie pack.

To be sure, I'm still counting. My current parameters are calories and carbohydrate grams. But the foods I'm choosing are as simple as they can be, and generally require a bit more prep work than opening a package.

Sometimes I have to wash a piece of fruit. Heh.

I've been thinking about this past weekend's food, especially the s'mores. They weren't that great to eat, but they were fun to make. I was a little disappointed they didn't taste better. After all, these were treats! They should be fun to make and to eat!

And then I thought:

Food doesn't have to be fun. 
And probably – for me – shouldn't be.

I have a neighbor who has said life would be so much easier if humans, like dogs, could get along on two scoops of kibble daily. Hershey doesn't turn her little nose up when faced with the same dry dog food day after day, meal after meal. She eats it and goes on with her day. She naps a lot (she's 10, after all), and she chases deer out of the yard and she loves finding a mouse or mole in the neighbor's hayfield. She'll spend a good half an hour jumping around like a kitten trying to catch one.

But I'll bet she doesn't spend a single extra doggie minute thinking, "Kibble. Again. Blech."

Many of the processed, packaged, fake foods are designed to replace real and former once-in-a-while foods. Treats have evolved – or devolved, probably – from a special-occasion indulgence to part of a daily diet. What I've learned after just four months of eating the basics – meat, vegetables and fruit – is embarrassingly elementary.

Food is fuel.

My body performs better on the basics. My metabolism works the way it's supposed to work. Apparently I'm able to turn real-food calories into energy for a daily walk or jog, but can only turn crap-food calories into fat. Eating real, unprocessed food has transformed me from someone who wished for more get-up-and-go into someone who is getting up and going.

Cooking tasty meals, tweaking recipes, baking – all have "consumed" a good part of my life. Even a good part of my identity. Food preparation was not just a matter of putting dinner on the table. It was a hobby. I've owned hundreds of cookbooks and saved binders full of clipped-from-magazine recipes.

My recipe collection is much smaller today. In addition to the diet-book purge, I took a large box of low-fat cookbooks to the library last week. I've kept the volumes that focus on the basics.

And, honestly, if I ever want a recipe for something not-so-basic, the internets are full of them.

I still want my food to taste good. But I don't spend a lot of time jazzing it up. I still enjoy an occasional treat – homemade Larabars, muffins made with almond or coconut flour. But they fit within the new parameters, and they're not part of my every-day menu.

Finally, on nearly every "diet" I've ever tried, I've learned to always be thinking about the next eating opportunity, be it snack time or one of the three squares. To my utter and complete astonishment, my day is not now focused on food. Which sets me apart, I suppose, from Grok, who spent his waking hours warding off predators and finding sustenance.

I eat when I'm hungry. Duh. I rarely ever felt hunger eating processed foods, sugar, white flour, artificial sweeteners. Hunger is not such a bad thing. I no longer carry snacks with me. I'll get some food, eventually. I'm not going to DIE if my stomach growls.

That's it, really. My new food manifesto. Nothing you haven't heard or read elsewhere, probably. New for me, though.

And – so far – it seems to be working.


Vickie said…
Well said and very true.
Karen said…
Food is fuel, and I find that if food is "fun" it's also a trigger food.

Life is now more fun and food is now more fuel. Glad you are making those connections. :)

Popular posts from this blog


Update on the water: the circuit breaker tripped, either due to a power surge when the electricity came back on last night OR when lightning struck in the area. My neighbor's electric fence control box got hit in the same area. He was able to reset the circuit breaker for us and we have WATER! I think I'll go do a load of laundry. Heh.

And the winner is …

Kitten with a Whiplash, who left two comments and it was the second (which had nothing to do with the contest) which won the prize. Congratulations, and since the Kitten was the only commenter who expressed any interest in actually winning it, I'm so glad the Universe took care of it. Heh.

What a weekend! But first, how was yours? I hope you did some fun stuff and got some necessary stuff done, as well. It's all about balance.

Saturday was our fun day (but we had to drive, drive, drive to get there and then drive, drive, drive home again, all in one day, boy was I tired). We went to my husband's granddaughter's first birthday party. In addition to a sweet little doll, suitable for ages 0+ (meaning it has no parts that will come loose, and do you know how difficult it is to find dolls for babies when you live in the Middle of Nowhere?), I made her this:

I haven't sewn anything in a month of Sundays, so was a little apprehensive about finishing it on time, but this p…

It's all about the food

The dieting portion of this blog is temporarily suspended. Continue reading at your own risk.

If you’re going to throw a party, be sure to have good food and plenty of it. That’s my daughter’s philosophy, and I think it’s pretty good advice.

The members of the group who will be here Thursday night are middle-aged and older, so I think mostly traditional appetizers are in order. We’ll have Swedish meatballs and those little sausages cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce, along with artichoke dip, hummus with vegetables and crackers, a bowl of cinnamon-spiced nuts and a fruit pizza.

Cupcakes are on the menu. Cupcakes sure seem to be popular these days – Google Blogsearch came up with 1,181,447 hits and is selling a boatload of cupcake cookbooks.

Mine are plain old chocolate, and will be decorated with the words “Yes We Can” on top. I think some will be iced in blue and some in white, with red lettering.

I’m also making pig candy. I first had this at one of my daughter’s Oscar parties s…